So. Much. Love.

So… our schedule has become topsy-turvy the last 2-3 weeks or so.  I just wrote not that long ago, about our Fall routine simplicity and how beautiful it was to serve my husband and son so early in the morning, even sacrificing sleep with an infant, and the reward of getting to know (and sometimes hear even though I try really hard not to listen lol) that they’re talking about things my husband thinks are important for our son.  It’s the only time of day (when he’s not off for the whole day that is) when our son gets to see his dad.  So their time is critically important and so beautiful to orchestrate and watch from a distance.

Go figure that once we’re nicely settled into a good routine, flowing beautifully, a yucky wrench gets thrown in that makes life a lot more difficult.  It’s starting to be funny to me how life is just like that; at least unforeseen things keep us on our toes and understand our place as mere humans ❤

So I’m sitting here in the morning, and in such awe of how much love I have when hearing them talk – hearing my husband gently but authoritatively guide our son in direction, answer his questions, listen to his problems or stories.  This time together is so precious!  I’m so grateful that even though our schedule (my husband’s schedule) has changed again, it still allows for this to happen every morning.

It’s just So. Much. Love.

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The Old Days…

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I was having a kind of sentimental mood earlier, and went through a bunch of our old pictures… mostly from our college and dating days.  It is amazing how fast time flies and that we’ve already been married for 10 years!

Reasons why I fell head over heels for this guy are almost endless….

He teased me constantly, in a good way.  We had the best time going back and forth flirting even before we were ever officially in a relationship.

He was so passionate and fun, and always just did his own thing (still does actually).  He’d go a little wild for the sports games at our college and paint his face which I thought was crazy and teased him about.  Then he’d tease me about painting my face and getting me to come with him sometime.  ❤

You can tell his incredibly energy in the old picture below where he went out with a bunch of friends (I didn’t know him yet I think).  He’s the one on the far right with the laughing smile.

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Another cute pic from before we were together, (nope that girl’s not me lol).  Look at his face!! LOL

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This one below was when we were on a date ice-skating.  He skated like a pro!!!  Which is rare for people in Texas lol.  This was because he played hockey before though.  I, on the other hand, kept falling on my butt!  Looking at my smile, I’d say I still had tons of fun.  Everywhere we went together, we just had so much fun and we still do! ❤

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I adore him ❤ ❤ ❤

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2nd year of marriage at one of those live country concerts in Texas that are full of really fun people and dancing.

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When our oldest was an Ewok for Halloween… we’re big Star Wars nerds 😉

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Being all country at the rodeo when our oldest was little…

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At our 8th year anniversary before going out.

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Yea it’s been wild 😉

Our 3-month Beauty

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So September is my birthday month, and I feel like I’ve been given the best birthday present in the world!!!  ❤

After having (and loving) boy stuff for 7 years, it still feels surreal to my husband and I that we have pink stuff around the house and especially all the itsy-bitsy girly clothes in the laundry.

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I think I’m enjoying this a little too much 😉

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Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Don’t Be a Material Girl!

So I mentioned I wanted to start a small series on just writing out things I really would love my daughter to grow up hearing from me constantly… yep I’ll be that kind of mom who kind of somewhat nags her about the real life realities I want her to have in the back of her mind.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ll be doing something, and then I’ll hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head with something she’d say growing up that just rang SO true.  It happened a ton when I first got married within that first year, and not necessarily about relationship stuff, but more about everyday kind of living.

Things like, “HANG UP THAT DRESS!!!  YOU DON’T TREAT YOUR CLOTHES THAT WAY!

Anyway, these probably won’t be one-liners that will stick in her head, but hopefully more ideas that she’ll adhere to when older.

On Materialistic Things

  1. Don’t be a material girl.  Having “nice clothing” does not have to mean you buy designer clothing.  NEVER buy designer items (clothes, shoes, purses, etc.) unless you happen to find them super cheap and really like the piece itself.  If it doesn’t cost too much and genuinely brings you value to your wardrobe, get it. But if not, they are such a waste of money and signal to other people you care more about status than reality.  I got the best comments about my clothes when younger, even though they were always bought on sale.
  2. Never pay full price for anything that can be bought or bargained for at less of the price being asked.  Buy used, learn to make things yourself… basically do anything you can to save money and be able to use it for more important things that bring better value to your life and your family when you have a family.  Buy cars with cash.
  3. Wait for things to go on sale.  There’s absolutely no need to ever buy anything that isn’t on sale.  And even then, if you’re smart, you can usually wait it out until they mark it down even further.  Your Grandma (my mom) used to help me figure out when certain things went on sale – like the only jeans that actually fit my long legs – and I’d literally wait an entire year to get to that amazing sale where they’d magically all be around $10 each.  These were jeans that were normally $50-60.  If you pay attention, stores usually have major sales that come cyclically.
  4. Learn to do the majority of beauty things for yourself so you don’t have to pay someone else to do them.  Unless you really cannot figure it out, learn to dye your hair, do your nails, give yourself manicures and pedicures, etc. for yourself.  It just saves so much money and is really beneficial to learn to do these beauty habits yourself anyway.  You can even easily MAKE MONEY if you learn to do these things well, because you can offer your skills to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and create a little side business if you want.
  5. With that being said though, your skin (your face) is very important to maintain when young.  Because the chemicals used in maintaining skin care are tricky and almost impossible to make, spending some (but not too much) on skincare makes sense overtime.  Just know that there is never going to be some magical ointment that will make you somehow not age.  Natural remedies girls learn to make for their skin at home are great and very very cheap, but while they do help some, they ultimately are just not anywhere near the strength of what your dermatologist has in her office.  Find a good, trustworthy dermatologist, and try to stick with her for life.  I’ll help you there 😉
  6. Accept aging.  I’m not sure how true it is that women can really age gracefully, I used to believe it was possible and I still hope it is, but I can literally feel my face getting older as I type lol!  Just understand that aging is going to happen, and stay away from things that go above and beyond to try to make you look younger.  Botox and fillers and strange things dermatologists are always asked to do from the 35+ crowd just do not look good.  Don’t do it!  They make women look so unnatural and actually take away from their beauty!  Preserve your beauty as much as you can with age, but always avoid looking “unnatural.”
  7. Always stick to a budget when it comes to buying materialistic girly things.  Set aside a certain amount of money per month for girly items and don’t let yourself go above that.  Try to build up a little “savings account” for things like that, since makeup, hair styling tools, clothes etc. can add up.  Always search for the best deals but getting good quality when it comes to hair styling tools. This means they may cost more, but it’s worth it to not damage your hair.  Having a mini-savings built up for times when your favorite straightener or curling iron mysteriously go out is helpful.

And most importantly, most men (and even women to a certain degree) don’t like material girls.  From how much money they tend to unnecessarily spend, to their attitude, it’s almost universal that men don’t like a girl or woman who is that high maintenance.  Being a material girl is also just extremely wasteful of the items themselves since it’s driven by a mentality to always want the next best thing.  This is why designer boots can be found frequently at thrift stores, barely used, because women only wear them a few times before deciding they’re somehow now “out of season.”

Let me tell you a secret.

Truly great boots, or clothes for that matter, are hardly ever “out of season” unless you’re talking about Autumn vs. Summer. 😉  In reality you only need a minimum amount of really great shoes or accessories to look very well put together.

It’s much better to have a few really great wardrobe pieces that are of good quality that

What a Marriage Should Look Like

I found this man, Jordan Peterson, via youtube just recently.  Apparently he’s been around for awhile and I’ve been living under a rock… or just never-ending laundry LOL!  But he is brilliant and reminds me so much of the way my dad talks and thought about life.  Just very addicting to listen to, that kind of beautiful mind.

This is one of THE BEST description breakdowns of what a truly great marriage should look like in practical terms.  He covers all aspects, even describing almost to a “T” my husband’s tattoo he has of our marriage (the three strand cord), however he leaves out God since I don’t believe this man is a Christian.

One of the things that I enjoyed hearing Professor Peterson describe was just how ridiculously HARD it is to have and maintain a marriage like that… it’s definitely not something that happens by sheer chance or luck like I’ve heard people say.  Having a marriage like this is mostly picking the right person, but it’s also deliberate and takes constant minding to it with maturity.

I got my  husband to listen to it with me shortly after I found it and was so excited, telling him it was “us!”  I am so happy to have this with my man, and look forward to many many more years ahead making it better and better!

Tragedy & Joy

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I wanted to write some kind of update awhile ago, we’ve just been so busy or I’ve been distracted – or distracting myself.  I don’t even know what to write now really… so much has happened in just one month.

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I think I’ll try to put it into bullet points what we’ve done or has happened in these past 4 weeks.  Sorry it will probably read pretty strange…

  • We had our adorable daughter, everything went well as far as the surgery.
  • The recovery had a hiccup when I started swelling in my right leg, and then the left leg… I called my doctor, and it was thought to be maybe the anesthesia.  After my milk supply came in and was pretty established, I took a couple of diuretic pills (“water pills”) to flush out the swelling fluid – and it worked well.  Apparently the “postpartum swelling” can be a big issue, and after we got home I began to look like I was 6 months pregnant again the swelling had gotten so bad.  This had never happened with our other two, but the diuretics worked fast and I ended up looking normal again.
  • Our little one wanted to breastfeed so often – every hour for 5 nights straight – that I actually ended up getting Mastitis in that very first week!!!!!  LOL  I didn’t even know you could get mastitis that quickly!  It was very painful but a bit hilarious – thank God for antibiotics!
  • In only the 2nd week of her life, 2 of our officers were shot when contacting a felon.  They were shot right when they stepped out of their vehicle.  One was shot in the face and the other in the chin, the former ended up dying and the latter dragged his partner to safety even after having been shot.  It was so traumatic, and both were about my husband’s age.
  • I’m in a wive’s group that supports our husband’s in their career, one I’ve blogged about here.  I’ve become an officer that deals with events – the coordinating and planning, and since all of the other group officials were either on vacation or unable to come, I had the task of coordinating getting donations for desserts, wives to volunteer, and serving the people at the funeral.  A police funeral is typically a devastating ordeal, but with hundreds to sometimes 1,000’s of officers from around the country showing up to pay their respects to the fallen officer.  Coming together like a family is so appreciated.  Everything about the funerals, though, is physically and emotionally draining and tortuous.  From volunteering for hours, to listening to the family pour out their hearts to us, to serving the army of Police Officers who have come who need encouragement, too… it is painful.  The last funeral before this I cried so much I had to actually go and completely redo my makeup before we had to serve the 1,000’s of guests.  We are in a war.  We lose officers almost every week or other week now.
  • Since I had to bring our 2 week old to the funeral to lead the volunteers, I kept having to disappear to breastfeed.  One time when I was tucked away in a tiny section of the ladies’ room where they provided couches to sit while you nurse, one of the officers who came to the funeral sat down next to me – exhausted – and started to talk.  She was part of the Honor Guard – which is the official name for the group of officers who go to the memorial services and funerals around the U.S.  She was a Sergeant, and from our city.  She knew the officer who had died that day 😥 .  For some reason, relaxing in the hidden corner of the restroom on the couch with me, she felt comfortable enough to let me know how tired of all this she was – how she felt she needed a break, that many of them do, from all these relentless funerals.  All these senseless assassination-style deaths.  I tried to encourage her and let her know how much we appreciate the Honor Guard and her love for these officers’ families.  But I could see it, too, when I was serving many of the officers face to face – they are so tired of seeing these decent men and women killed.  The collective Honor Guard are some of the best people, the ones who travel to show support and give encouragement to the families in need, but I’m starting to see in their faces just how hard this is on them emotionally to be constantly going to another funeral every other week or so.
  • Police deaths have spiked to 39% in 2017.  Again, it feels like we are in a war.  Like our husbands are deployed everyday that they go into their shift.  At the same time, it feels like we’re not alone.  The police community as a whole, is a safe place to show our emotions to each other.  At the last funeral when I was crying almost uncontrollably, one of the older Honor Guard officers came up to me and hugged me – it meant so much, but I felt so sorry that I knew I was making him feel pain, too.  I could tell that my tears almost made him cry 😥  and I don’t want to add more pain to these officers.  It was so touching though, that a perfect stranger would come to not only support us, but even hug one of the emotional wives there behind the counter.
  • I haven’t written about this myself before… probably because I’d have to write it in bullet points like this.  The emotions are hard for even me to put into words.
  • We had a second funeral for one of our officers who passed away from cancer.  We were thankful that he didn’t lose his life in the line of duty, but it still felt like an added insult to an injury.  The funeral was only a couple of days after the first.
  • Even in all this tragedy, my husband and I were invited to one of his favorite Police Academy instructor’s retirement party.  It was actually a wonderful time celebrating this man my husband looks up to and learned from.  We were able to get my mom to watch our boys so it was almost like a date night together with our tag along baby girl.  At the end of the night, his wife let me know they had felt almost guilty holding a celebration like this after all the recent tragedies – her husband had wondered if he should have cancelled it.  I told the wife that of course they should have had it!  It was good to celebrate something positive even in the midst of this.  Everyone there was focusing on the hilarious stories he had, looking at his adorable pictures of when he was young and in charge of the streets, and enjoying celebrating with him the end of a great career.  We needed that.  He did, but we all did in a way.

We’ve also just been enjoying time together as a family.  I’ve had my own thoughts of feeling so much joy when looking at our daughter, and then guilt that I’m feeling that way when our city (and officers) are enduring another tragedy.  It was nice having my husband off for a month… he missed his work and the excitement, but he had fun taking the boys on adventures and us all going out as a family for hikes and walks in the parks close by.

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Our Newborn Baby Girl!

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Still in the hospital at 1 day old

Our newborn, heavenly, baby girl has arrived!!!!!!  She is 1 week old today and we are over the moon with how perfect and beautiful she is!  Having babies and growing a family with my husband is just beyond describable how wonderful it is.

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This past week has been hilariously hard though, she breastfeeds every hour during the evening and all through the night – literally!  And our other two have decided we should now have a 3 ring circus of screams and running through the house and general excitement over her arrival.

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So this post will be short and sweet 😀 otherwise it’d probably be unreadable due to typos!

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I did want to say though, since I wrote about it before how we were worried how my uterus was handling pregnancy and if we’d be able to have more children after this baby.  The Dr. said it was still strong – no windows or tearing – praise God!!!!  We were leaving it in God’s hands and preparing to accept (really grieve) that maybe it was His decision to “close the womb,” but we were so happy when the doctor told us this in the operating room!

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My amazing husband giving me “that look” LOL ❤ 

And of course… I cried tears of joy when seeing her – I always seem to cry with my husband (he’s the one holding her since it’s a c-section) right when one of babies come out.  It’s just such a miracle!

She came just before Father’s Day, too, which I thought was so sweet and perfect. ❤

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All throughout the surgery, too, I kept remembering the verses,

“You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You.”  Isaiah 26:3

and

“Will I bring a baby to the point of birth and not deliver it?” says the LORD;

“or will I who deliver, close the womb?” says your God.”  Isaiah 66:9

 

And again, just like with our last baby, growing our family just creates so much more love in our marriage, which didn’t seem possible – but I love my husband even more!  Even through the fog of exhaustion and sleeplessness, the love and affection is so strong and increasing.

And just a random video on my husband’s last days of work before the baby came – him singing to our son before he left.  He is such an exceptional father…

My Amazing Husband & His Boys

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Snapped this photo when we went downtown to see my husband working our annual city party called, “FIESTA!!”

My husband is an incredible hero.

It’s not just because he wears the badge, although the courage and bravery there are not to be discounted.

It’s his strength, heart, and mind that make him go above and beyond in teaching our sons how to actually be men.

Real men.

The kind that fight for goodness and against evil in our society.

The kind that are God’s warriors and ministers – both at the same exact time.

Words can hardly even describe the intensity with which I love this man so much.

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Rodeo Fun & Life Updates

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I can’t believe how fast this year is already flying by, it’s already mid-March, and Spring Break is next week, and so much that still was waiting to get done (projects around the yard and house) are still ongoing!

Right after I got our garden 1/4 of the way established again, our dalmatian, Super, who had been leaving everything alone for a week, decided to taste all the vegetables.  The only problem was that his “taste” and my “taste” aren’t the same definition… to put it bluntly, he ate our garden!

He must not like Spinach and Chard, though.  😉

My husband had warned me that I should wait until he put a nice fence up with a gate.  But I guess like Sarah with Abraham, my impatience got the best of me, and when we were out just “looking” at the plants at a nursery, he gave me the ok to go ahead and get some, we were hopeful LOL   And thankfully it was only 1/4 of the garden, and not a whole, well-established garden that was demolished!

Watching him build a fence has been awesome, our older son is “helping” and loving every minute of it 😀   Watching my man work on it so effortlessly makes me so proud and happy.  Hopefully by next week, it will all be done and my older son and I can take advantage of the Spring Break free-time to really get it totally established again.

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The rodeo was it’s usual wonderful experience.  Back when I was in high school, and part of a dance group for our city, we would perform here every year.  Our son is interested in the sheep riding – which if you’ve never seen it, is so cute to watch!

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M y boots, watching the steers being shown.

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Kids showing their animals.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any pictures in the petting zoo part, but our oldest is SO SWEET with animals.  In the petting zoo, he zeroed in on twin baby goats that were being protected by their mama goat, and she allowed him to cuddle them and play with them.  Seeing his natural tenderness with animals is just wonderful as his mom – he’s going to be a great Dad someday, and no wonder, he has the perfect role model in my husband.

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Looking at different kinds of knives and weapons.  Not like we need anymore, though!!! 😉

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All three of the guys had their black cowboy hats, even the baby!  My husband will only do black.  I obviously, love it.

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There were so many other things I didn’t get on camera because we were having so much fun, they went fishing in a little pool and our oldest caught a fish!!!

We saw cute shows and pet ponies, saw lots and lots animals and their families camping out.  Lots of country teens making the most of the annual meetup and flirting with each other – which is just adorable to watch ❤

They had a Lego exhibit, a huge tent for kids and grownups to create whatever they wanted to play with or have on display.  My husband helped our son build race cars.

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At the end of the night, at the last show that we saw, while eating a delicious funnel cake with it’s powderey sugared piece of fried-Heaven, our son actually won a Unicorn Shoe – a horse shoe that a Blacksmith made for only 4 people in the audience who would win them at the end of the show.  He was elated!!  And it was still warm when he got it!

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Called of God by Oswald Chambers

God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, “Who will go for us?”  The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone.  Whether or not I hear God’s call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition.

“Many are called but few are chosen,” that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones.  The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, “Who will go for us?”  It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, “Now you go.” God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, “Here I am, send me.”

Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings.  When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside.  The quiet passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was soken to men with every power wide awake.  If we let the Spirit of God bring us face-to-face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, “Here am I, send me.”

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then I said, Here am I, send me.”

Isaiah 6:8